When the Heart Talks and Listens



The other day, I uncomfortably remembered the violent argument that I had with a loved one couple of years back. We were both, heavy with the unbearable burden of unresolved tiff’s, pent up emotions and unsaid rejoinders. Add an astonished, inexperienced uncle who was called in to bring back amity into the frame and we were all set to unleash our wrath upon each other….

Lights, Camera, Action…

You said…..Because you did….I never did……You always…..^%$^%$^%$……..STOP (Uncle)…….I will never…… STOP (Uncle)…… (*^(^(&(*&(

Our neighbors had swarmed into their courtyards, watching the unfolding action drama. An eye witness later told me that even passing motorists had stopped by.

After that eventful evening, we started living as if the other didn’t exist on the face of the earth and the uncle stopped accepting such assignments.

A simple Heart talk would have made the difference that day. How I wish my uncle had read my blog before venturing out.

A heart talk is a listening and talking session facilitated to help people resolve their differences by…simply allowing each party to talk as much as they want without being interrupted. Here is how it is arranged.

The antagonists sit around a table. The facilitator holds an object, nicknamed the Heart (soft toy, car keys, flower vase, candle… anything would do) in his hands and explains the ground rules.

1) Only the person holding the Heart can talk. The others listen (only)
2) The talker must not shout
3) Listeners must not sneer or do anything with their bodies that will irritate the speaker
4) Once the talker is through, he passes the heart to the person sitting next to him
5) If the emotions boil over, the facilitator can call for a break… provided no one talks to each other during the break.
6) They go around until people have nothing to say
7) The facilitator will not try to push for a solution…he just lets people talk and talk and listen

I have used this tool many times and have succeeded in bringing warring murderous clans to amicable “then they lived happily ever after” climaxes. In almost all the cases, one would break up and cry and the sobs would infectiously catch on till the tears wash out all the resentment welled up inside.


By the way, I made up with that loved one a few months back, after a one to one heart talk and we ended up laughing at the predicament of the poor uncle on that fateful day.

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